Skip to main content

Full text of "Long Lance"

See other formats


whole which they could not fathom: the mystery
of the future in relation to the coming of the,
White Man.

Then there was that great mystery of distance,
which so fascinated us youngsters. Over the flat
bosom of the plains we could see as far as the
human eye could reach, yet always we wondered
what was beyond. We heard that there were
"big waters', bigger than the plains themselves;
that there were thousands of White People living
in another world across the big waters where there
were no Indians at all. They travelled about in
cbig houses55 which swam the waters like animals.
And they had another 'long house', which spat
fire and smoke and raced across the ground faster
than a buffalo could run. These things came to
us as legends from other tribes. They even told
us of 'black white men' who lived under the sun,
where it rested when it went under the horizon,
and who were 'scorched* until they were black,

Through all this mystery we lived a life of un-
certainty, ever on the move, travelling from camp
to camp; sometimes building fires in our teepees
and then going out on the open plains and rolling
up in our blankets to sleep, lest we should be
slain and scalped in our slumber.

And we used to be hungry, too. We could not
put by anything for the winter, because of the
scarceness of the vanishing buffalo and our wan-